Say what you must about the nutrional value of Gerber hot cereal baby mixes, but at least they are easy. A few scoops of sawdust-like material, a splash of milk, microwaved for a perfect 47 seconds, and you’ve got yourself a meal. Add in one of those containers of ready-made Gerber fruit mush that never seem to go bad for some reason (how is that possible, and why does it squick me out?), and your meal is complete.
Of course, there is only so long one can cling to the convenience of whatever the heck that was that I just described. Now that my twins are almost 2.5, I’ve been forced to move on to other, more difficult, alternatives.
No problem, right? I’m a pretty good cook. I should be able to roll up my sleeves and cook up some hot, delicious cereal with fruit bits and perfect consistency.
I consistently make the worst cream of wheat I have ever seen. And this picture? That’s the third attempt. No matter how much milk I pour in, it’s not enough. On the off-chance it is enough, it boils over, like you see here. The lumps are unbreakable and stick to the sides of the bowl. Or it’s soupy, and the little kernels haven’t expanded properly.
I cannot win with this.
I make the worst hot cereal in the history of hot-cereal-making moms. I am surprised and grateful that my kids humor me enough to actually eat the stuff. It’s disgraceful.
And it continues to foil me. Each day I wake up sure that this will be the day. I just have to use a little more milk. I just have to microwave in 30-second intervals instead of one-minute sections. I just need to boil it on the stove instead of using the microwave. I’ve even gone so far as to question using the salt they recommend. Perhaps the salt is the missing magic ingredient that stops lumps and soupiness and overflows.
Today, I have a new game plan. My kids are going to enjoy their breakfast today, and they deserve it for putting up with my pathetic cereal-making skills for so long.
Today I made muffins.
So, you win, this time, cereal. But maybe next time you won’t be so lucky. Maybe next time will be my time. My perfect cereal-making time.
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